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The Psychology of Learning

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Newcastle PARTNERS

on 7 June 2017

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Transcript of The Psychology of Learning

Psychology of

What are we going to cover?
Three different sessions about how the brain works during revision.
General revision tips
Complete some Psychological tests to see how you learn and what you can do to make your learning more productive!
What is memory?
Short Term Memory
Long Term Memory
active memory or primary memory
Procedural Memory
Semantic Memory
Episodic Memory
e.g. skills and habits, emotional response
e.g. events and times
e.g. facts and figures
Procedural Memory
This involves the memory of skills and habits e.g. how to ride a bike.

They are accessed without the need for conscious control or attention.

Episodic Memory
This involves the memory of autobiographical events e.g. dates and times.

Allows you to figuratively travel back in time to remember the event that took place at that particular time and place.
Semantic Memory
This relates to general world knowledge that we have accumulated throughout our lives e.g. facts and figures.

It refers to general factual knowledge, shared with others and independent of personal experience.
Memories are formed when certain connections between cells in the brain are strengthened.
When neurones are stimulated again and again, they will communicate better in the future.
Scientists think that the experiences making up a memory are sent from the senses to the cortex, then on to areas surrounding the hippocampus, which ‘bind’ the memories together.
The brain’s long-term memory center is called the Hippocampus.
Over to you!
Each of you have a sheet of paper with four different lists.
We are going to complete a well known Memory Test to decide which method of learning is best for your memory!
For each section, you need to remember as many of the words as you can in 30 seconds and write them down.
How did you do?
This test is designed to show which kind of learner you are, and therefore what type of information you remember the most.
You should also see a difference in the section when the words were there for longer.
How can we improve our memories?
Scientists say that you must repeat something three times before you really remember it.
Try mnemonic devices (e.g. MR. P!)
Get a good night’s sleep!
Exercise encourages your brain to work at optimum capacity. Try to plan in time for it!
Eat right e.g. Omega 3, or maybe a good old curry!
What is sleep?
Why do we sleep?
Sleep and Revision
Sleep Deprivation
What is sleep?
How can we measure sleep?
Measure your brainwaves.
Measure your eye movements.
REM Sleep
Your body is completely still, as if you are paralysed.
Your brain is wide awake.
You have really clear dreams, like stories.
Slow Wave Sleep
You become far less responsive to the environment.
The most restful form of sleep.
What is Non-REM sleep?
There are four main stages of sleep:
1. Opens eyes from time to time, rolls eyes up and down
Transition between waking and sleep
2. About 10 minutes later…
Brain activity increases with sudden sharp waves
3. 15 minutes later…
The beginning of Slow Wave Sleep (larger, longer brain waves)
4. More than 50% of your brain waves are big delta waves
In deep sleep
The Beginning of REM Sleep
Why do we sleep?
We sleep on a 90 minute cycle, but not all animals sleep in the same way as us.
We sleep to conserve energy during the least productive part of the day.
Allows the brain to 'recover'.
The brain needs to store memories for the long term.
Sleep and Revision
When you are asleep, all of your procedural and emotional memories are being stored.
Can you think of a time when we may need to store lots of new memories?
We have more REM sleep during early development
When we are learning more, we have more REM sleep.
University students show more REM sleep during exams!
If we have less REM sleep, we are worse at remembering things!
The more sleep you get, the better you can remember things!
Emotional control
Sleep Deprivation
If we are sleep deprived, we compensate for more later.
Clear effect on concentration and cognitive ability
Revision Tips
We are going to focus on...
Everything’s a mess, I’ve got too much stuff!
I have way too much work to do!
But, I really want to see my friends!

What is planning?
One of the most important time management techniques
A plan is like a map. You can always see how much you have progressed and how close you are to the end; the end is always in sight!

Why plan?
Planning makes sure you cover everything you need to know.
It also allows you to find time for other things!
It’s good for your brain - everything will be in your Long Term Memory store in the Hippocampus.

Planning Tips
Start with the easy stuff - this increases motivation and stimulates the reward pathway in the brain!
It’s okay to have time off! Your brain needs time to consolidate your memories.
Try to split the day into three sections (morning, afternoon, evening) and always keep one free!
What is motivation?
It represents the reasons for peoples’ actions and behaviour.
It involves the Ventral Striatum in the brain and links to the Reward Pathway.
How to motivate yourself?
You need to reward yourself for revising - stimulates reward pathway.
Take a moment to think about your hobbies - how can you incorporate revision into these?
Why not put a sweet at the bottom of each page?
Like music? Why not turn your revision into a song?
What is repetition?
The action of repeating something that has already been said or written.
It can be as simple as writing something over and over.
Why is it important?
For short term memories to be consolidated to long term memories, you need repetition.
Researchers say that you must repeat something at least three times before learning it.
How can we demonstrate this?
On the sheet in front of you, you have five mazes to get the mouse to the cheese.
We want you to complete the maze five times.
Maze 1:
Complete the maze with your eyes closed after only looking at it.
Mazes 2, 3 and 4:
Practice doing the maze with your eyes open on all three.
Maze 5:
Complete the maze with your eyes closed.
What do you see?
Maze Experiment
From this experiment, you should notice that you were better doing at Maze 5 than doing Maze 1.
This is because of repetition!
You can use this principle when revising.
Today we have learned:
About how memory works and how we can improve it
Why sleep is important
Three key revision techniques (MR P!)
How sleep can help us to revise and learn
I don’t know where to start!
Common excuses!
There are two types of sleep:
Non-REM Sleep
What is REM sleep?
The Beginning of REM Sleep
Starts 45 minutes after the start of stage 4 (90 minutes after the start of sleep)
The brain is close to awake (lots of small brain waves - hyper!)
I have a blue
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